Personal Branding in 2023 is an ever-changing landscape. Case in point: résumés are so 2022. What used to be called your “business reputation “has evolved into your personal brand…. And your personal brand is only going to get more important as thing progress.
If you’re looking to create more job opportunities and higher pay in the near future, what you really need is a personal brand.
Having an online presence is no longer optional — according to CareerBuilder, 7 in 10 employers find their next candidate on social media.
So how would I define a personal brand?
A personal brand is a unique identity that you — as an individual or entrepreneur — create to present to potential employers and clients.
It isn’t about gathering followers or listing achievements but putting all your core values, expertise, and competence together into a neat package and sharing that with others.
Personal branding in 2023 is about making you stand out from the crowd and establishing yourself as a demonstratable expert within your niche.
In this blog, I’ll give you tips on creating, developing, and promoting your personal brand. When considering the latest trends of personal branding in 2023, we’ll understand what it takes to differentiate yourself in an increasingly competitive market.
Table of Contents
- Sharing Valuable Insights and Expertise
- Building a Network of Like-Minded Professionals
- Engaging in Public Speaking or Hosting Workshops
Personal branding in 2023 isn’t the same as 20 years ago. Consumers have new priorities, corporations are changing tact, and business opportunities are evolving.
Recruiters increasingly consider your values and your social media presence as crucial as education levels and experience.
As you embark on this career journey, the first step should be to assess where your brand falls into this system. Are you placing enough importance on sharing your expertise? Are you promoting the values you stand for? Are you willing to embrace new ways to engage with your audience? Here are some ways to take this into account.
Building a personal brand requires a great deal of introspection. Here are some questions I think might be helpful for you to think about:
- What do I stand for?
- What am I most passionate about?
- What are the areas I can improve upon?
- What do I want to achieve with my personal brand?
- What expertise or experience can I share to help others
By examining your life, experiences, and expertise honestly and critically — while keeping the ideals that the world lives by in 2023 in mind — you can focus on the aspects you can share when creating a personal brand.
DID YOU KNOW: 60% of consumers in the United States based their purchasing decisions on the company’s executives’ values, words, and actions.
When creating a personal brand in 2023, you must consider the experiences and expertise that make you stand out from your peers.
This doesn’t mean you must be a robot constantly sharing nothing but your expertise. It’s a good idea to share some of your personal life as well. People want to connect to people, not robots or soulless entities. However, you need to set boundaries of how much of your personal life you want to share and stick with it.
Things like: Do you have a unique hobby? A desirable skill? How could you tie in your background into these skills? What are you comfortable sharing with your audience?
A SWOT analysis is a helpful tool I’ve used to develop my personal brand over the years. This analysis involves creating a detailed list of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats- to understand your own positioning better.
Personal branding in 2023 is all about staying relevant, sharing great information, and differentiating yourself. So, consider each point with these factors in mind.
- Strengths: What makes me better than my competition?
- Weaknesses: What could I work on improving?
- Opportunities: Am I using all the tools at my disposal?
- Threats: Is my reputation at risk of being obsolete or ignored?
Consider incorporating feedback from the people you trust, your peers, and those you connect with. This way, you can take a well-rounded, unbiased approach to assessing your personal brand. Think of it as an impromptu personal brand assessment. If you want a little help getting started, then you can always check out my Personal Brand Assessment tool here: https://clairebahn.com/personal-brand-rating
In 2023, the sheer amount of content generated on social media platforms is overwhelming. It is very difficult to rise above the absolute “noise” of social media platforms and the Internet in general without focusing on a strategy that’ll raise you above your competition and put you in front of the right audience.
Consider this fact; the number of social media users has reached a staggering 4.9 billion this year, well over half the world’s population. Just for reference, only 17% of total Instagram users are in the US. So, remember, when you build a brand, you are building an international brand.
Personal branding in 2023, therefore, depends heavily on how well you can define your identity. I’m not talking about simply creating well-designed websites and content that’ll go viral but developing valuable and focused content that makes you an authority within your niche. Content that answers the “burning questions” of your target audience.
The beauty of developing an elevator pitch is that it helps you focus your ideas. Personal brands are meant to be ambitious and comprehensive, but an elevator pitch lets you condense all this information into only what is essential. It simplifies how you condense your core mission into a format that will instantly make people stop and understand what you’re doing and what your goals are.
Defining all your core values, in a nutshell, serves two major purposes — it gives you more clarity and allows your personal brand to be more attention-grabbing while helping others understand you better.
Consider the following, you’re at a party, and someone asks what you do. You’re a lawyer, and your reply, “I’m a lawyer,” …..err great, you’ve not distinguished yourself from any other lawyer on the planet.
What if you responded with something a bit more robust, like, “My firm and I help disadvantaged clients navigate and succeed in the legal system o they are treated fairly” …in less than 30 seconds, you’ve provided a wealth of information about you, your career, and your efforts to help others.
With this new-found clarity and focus, it becomes easier to target a niche audience. Let’s face it, even the most popular celebrities struggle to have global appeal. Most are content with influencing a specific group of people. After all, a hundred loyal clients are more valuable than 500 undecided ones.
One way to do this is to decide who your top competition is and then analyze what platforms they are using, where they are finding their audience, and the type of posts that the audience is engaging with. No need to reinvent the wheel. You can take this information and use it to quickly get in front of the right audience and start to engage with them. In fact, you may use this information to find platforms where your audience is visiting that others have overlooked.
There is nothing better than showing up for your audience on more than one platform. Being on multiple platforms simultaneously with a consistent “look & Feel” and consistent messaging is the quickest way to build audience momentum.
Also, remember that social media is not just about constantly pumping information through the channel. You need to engage directly with your audience to build a reputation and authority. That means finding members of your audience that are posting themselves or commenting on their posts and then thoughtfully commenting on their posts. That will redirect some attention back to you in the most authentic way possible.
When creating a personal brand, it’s crucial to determine your value proposition, what you can offer that others don’t, and what makes you relevant in 2023. To develop one, I’d recommend working on the three Cs of personal branding:
- Clarity: Before anything else, you should have a clear understanding of your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) and how it distinguishes you from others.
- Communication: Ensure that your UVP is effectively conveyed across all points of contact with your target audience. This includes:
- Your website
- Social media platforms
- Any other medium where you interact with your audience.
- Comprehensiveness: Your UVP should be thorough, considering all facets of your expertise and experiences that offer value. This means addressing the primary desires and necessities of your target audience. However, comprehensive doesn’t mean overly lengthy; it means covering the essential elements of the value you provide.
Lastly, an additional point to note is the importance of iteration:
- Test and Refine: A UVP is dynamic. With the ever-changing landscape of social media, evolving needs of your audience, and as your brand grows and evolves, it’s imperative to periodically review and refine your UVP to stay relevant and effective.
Creating a unique value proposition (UVP) requires a profound grasp of your brand, your target audience, and the ways in which your expertise can address their needs. Here’s a step-by-step guide to formulating a UVP that’s anchored in clarity, communication, and comprehensiveness:
- Understand Your Audience’s Concerns:
- Recognize their primary challenges or “burning questions”.
- Use extensive research, and listen to questions they ask or discussions they initiate to gain insights into their issues.
- Spotlight Your Distinctive Strengths:
- Enumerate the benefits arising from your expertise and experiences.
- Ponder on what differentiates you from competitors.
- Reflect on your unique learnings and experiences, especially how you tackled obstacles and how these lessons can aid your audience.
- Articulate Your Value Clearly:
- Use the insights from your audience’s needs and your strengths to craft a lucid and brief statement.
- Ensure it delineates the distinct value of your expertise.
- This statement should be easy to grasp and highlight how you resolve or ameliorate a concern of your audience.
In conclusion, it’s vital to remember that a potent UVP is an integral component of your overarching brand strategy. It’s the key to distinguishing yourself, appealing to the right audience, and unlocking business opportunities.
Personality refers to the traits that define your brand, while voice refers to how you would communicate this personality to an audience.
Both aspects are equally crucial to personal branding in 2023.
Do you want to develop a more conversational and approachable brand identity? Or would you rather adopt a more technical approach? The choice is yours.
Part of your personality is reflected in the “look & feel” of the content you post. This means that design, color, and fonts all contribute to your personal brand. Audiences are more sophisticated, and they expect the people that they believe to have the authority to have a high design and professional look. The days of selfies and guerrilla self-shot videos are over and detract from your personal brand. If you’re going to build a powerful brand, then don’t skimp on design.
Attempting to master personal branding in 2023 without a dedicated online presence is like trying to shoot an arrow without a bow. You could have the most compelling content ideas, outstanding expertise, and a solid understanding of your target audience, but none of these matters if people don’t know where to find you and you don’t engage with them.
Social media has become a critical tool for building your personal brand in 2023. Here are some reasons why:
- Reach and Influence: Social media platforms have a vast reach, spanning millions to billions of users. This allows individuals to reach a global audience with their message and build their personal brand beyond their immediate geographical location.
- Engagement: social media allows for two-way communication. You can engage directly with your followers, answering questions, responding to comments, and fostering a sense of community. This direct engagement can create a stronger connection between you and your audience, strengthening your personal brand.
- Content Sharing: Sharing regular content – such as blog posts, videos, photos, and status updates – allows you to shape your personal brand narrative. You can demonstrate your expertise, share your insights, and express your personality and values. This can help you build trust and authority in your chosen field.
- Networking: social media also provides networking opportunities. You can connect with like-minded individuals, industry leaders, potential partners, or mentors. This can open up opportunities for collaboration, learning, and career advancement.
- Personal Brand Monitoring: social media gives you the ability to monitor and manage your personal brand reputation. You can track the metrics from the platforms to know precisely how your content is resonating and what others are saying about you and respond promptly to both praise and criticism.
- Accessibility: social media provides an easily accessible platform for people to know more about you. This is particularly important in today’s digital era, where people often look up online before making decisions – whether it’s hiring for a job, looking for a consultant, or searching for a mentor.
However, while social media offers significant personal brand opportunities, it’s also crucial to approach it thoughtfully and strategically. Your posts should align with the image you want to project, and you should avoid oversharing or posting content that could be viewed as unprofessional. Furthermore, be prepared to commit time and energy to regularly updating your social media and engaging with your followers; building a personal brand through social media is a long-term commitment.
DID YOU KNOW: 85% of U.S. recruiters and HR professionals say that an employee’s online reputation influences their hiring decisions, at least to some extent.
Creating your website is one of the most crucial steps of personal branding in 2023. These days, there’s really no excuse not to have one — unlike in the past, your personal brand website websites have become increasingly convenient and cost-effective to create.
This makes them the perfect way to tell your story, display your expertise and showcase your values with minimal effort and get you ranked by Google for the terms and concepts, and keywords you want to be associated with.
The “language” of Google is called search engine optimization (SEO). Make sure your blogs and website are SEOed correctly and have the correct keywords and keyword density to matter.
The first thing your audience learns about you comes from your social media profiles. So, it’s crucial to ensure they are updated regularly — the picture should be current, all your work should be up-to-date, and posts should be relevant to your target audience… and did I mention SEOed correctly?
At the same time, you must have a clear understanding of social media platforms.
If you’re posting content better suited to LinkedIn on TikTok, you’re unlikely to see much engagement. Facebook posts should target maximum engagement, while Twitter and Instagram accounts should use current hashtags.
Once you’ve analyzed and optimized your social media, move on to creating high-value content — and, more importantly, post consistently.
Remember that social media platforms only care about 3 things: frequency, consistency, and quality of content.
- Frequency: social media platforms want you to post between 4 to 7 times a week.
- Consistency: the platforms want you to post at almost the same time every day
- Quality of content: the platforms pay close attention to how many people engage, like, and share your individual posts.
In addition, understanding the demographics of these platforms, and their relevance, is key to mastering personal branding in 2023. For instance, the average age of Snapchat’s users is between 18-24, while the average age of Facebook users is between 25 and 34. Use this data to help craft content that appeals to these groups.
Did you know that adults in the U.S. spend an average of 62 minutes daily watching videos online? Or that the estimated podcast user base is around 460 million in 2023? If you aren’t already leveraging multimedia options to promote your brand, I urge you to start now.
Secondly, Google owns YouTube. YouTube is the second-largest search engine on the planet. Creating videos and posting them on YouTube (SEOed correctly) will boost the velocity with which Google overall indexes you correctly.
Thirdly, when people can see and hear you speak, it positively impacts their perception of you, resulting in a greater likelihood that they will follow and engage with you.
A thought leader is an individual whose expertise and guidance are valued above all else. The eventual goal of personal branding in 2023 is to establish yourself as just that.
Here are some general practices you can adopt.
There’s no easier way to develop an image as an expert than sharing your knowledge with a dedicated audience. You could start small, by self-publishing blogs, with the eventual goal of getting published as often as possible.
Simultaneously, look for more opportunities to put yourself out there by participating in relevant industry events, conferences, and webinars. The more you diversify, the easier it will be to boost your reputation as a thought leader.
When building a personal brand, don’t underestimate the power of networking. Reach out to individuals whose work you admire, make a list of the people you consider thought leaders, and don’t hesitate to communicate with them.
DID YOU KNOW: 70% of HR departments are required to search job applicants online Of all executive recruiters, 90 percent say they conduct online research of potential candidates.
Another great way to establish yourself as a thought leader is to get your voice heard by as many people as possible. So, while working on your social media, and getting published, consider hosting workshops and looking out for public speaking events.
This isn’t just a great way to promote your brand. It also helps you build more confidence in your own skills and expertise.
In Part 1, you learned that building your personal brand in 2023 requires careful assessment, self-reflection, and the development of a strong brand identity. It’s important to understand your values, passions, and goals and identify the unique strengths and skills that set you apart from others. Conducting a SWOT analysis and gathering feedback from trusted sources can provide valuable insights to improve your personal brand. Defining your brand identity, crafting a compelling brand statement, and choosing a target audience and niche are crucial steps in establishing your personal brand in an increasingly competitive market.
In Part 2, you will learn that building a strong online reputation and personal brand in 2023 requires a strategic approach. It is crucial to manage and monitor your online presence, respond to feedback, and engage with your audience. Showcasing positive testimonials and endorsements, resolving negative feedback or reputation issues, and collaborating with others can also contribute to a powerful personal brand. Additionally, investing in personal and professional development, seeking mentorship or coaching opportunities, and embracing feedback are key steps in building a strong personal brand. By measuring your brand’s success, identifying key performance indicators, tracking relevant metrics, and celebrating milestones and achievements, you can stay motivated and make informed decisions to further enhance your personal brand.
In part two of this series, we will explore additional strategies and techniques to help you build your personal brand and become a thought leader in your field.